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This Day in History: George Washington Creates the Purple Heart

Video Credit: Wibbitz Top Stories
Published on August 7, 2020 - Duration: 00:59s

This Day in History: George Washington Creates the Purple Heart

This Day in History: George Washington Creates the Purple Heart August 7, 1782 As commander in chief of the Continental Army, Washington created the "Badge for Military Merit." Made from purple silk and designed in the shape of a heart, the badge was presented to three soldiers for their service in the Revolutionary War.

The decoration was forgotten for decades until 1927, when General Charles P.

Summerall attempted to revive the badge.

On February 2, 1932, the U.S. War Department instituted the "Order of the Purple Heart." Adding to Washington's design, the Purple Heart also contains a bust of Washington and his coat of arms. Today, the decoration is bestowed upon soldiers who have been killed or wounded in action.

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